Newcastle have announced a friendly with Belgian side Royal Antwerp to take place during the impending four-day training camp in Spain this week.
The official club website released a statement on Monday detailing that the fixture will take place this Sunday at the Pinatar Arena, which has a 3,500 capacity and is situated near Murcia, with kick-off scheduled for 12:00pm local time.
Newcastle United will take on Belgian side Royal Antwerp in a friendly fixture during a four-day training camp in Spain this week.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) March 12, 2018
It seems that Rafa Benitez is keen to run the rule over his entire squad prior to the eight Premier League matches United have left to play, starting with Huddersfield at St James’ Park on 31 March, with the fixture to be broken up into three periods lasting 45 minutes each.
That will certainly give Benitez enough time and scope to assess the players available to him, with no mention yet whether injured striker Islam Slimani will take part in the game as he recovers from a thigh injury.
Just over 23 years have passed since Newcastle last faced Antwerp in a two-legged UEFA Cup first round tie during the 1994/95 season when Kevin Keegan was in charge.
United thrashed their Belgian hosts 5-0 in the first leg at Bosuilstadion in September 1994, with Rob Lee famously scoring a hat-trick of headers, and Keegan’s swashbuckling side scored five again a fortnight later in the return fixture in a 5-2 victory – ending with an aggregate score of 10-2.